Here's my Field Test review. I have included the complete review to
this point so just scroll down to the Field Test section to edit.
This is a few days early as the mountains in Southern California are
full of smoke from the fires and any further testing of the shirt
before Sept. 8th will not be possible. I have been able to do many
days of testing so it should not be a problem. The tiny URL is http://tinyurl.com/l7ttra
SUN PROTECTION ZONE'S ADULT SHORT SLEEVE RASH GUARD SHIRT
TEST SERIES BY CHERYL MCMURRAY
June, 22 2009
Name: Cheryl McMurray
Height: 5 ft 8 in (173 cm)
Weight: 145 lb (66.6 kg)
Email Address: cherylswan@...
City, State, Country: Garden Grove, California, U.S.
I've been backpacking and hiking for four years, mostly on weekends
year around. Backpacks are usually 3 day, 2 night trips in the
Eastern Sierras with 32-40 lb (15-18 kg) loads depending on the season
and distances around 30 mi (48 km). One class 2 rock climb with a
day pack is common. Day hikes are 10-15 mi (16-24 km) in the San
Bernardino and San Gabriel Mountains with loads of 15-20 lb (7-9 km).
I have camped in snow, freezing temperatures, winds (once was gale
force), light rain, but mostly fair weather so far.
Manufacturer: Sun Protection Zone
Year of manufacture: 2009
Product: Adult women's short sleeve rash guard shirt
Listed sizes: S-XXL
Listed measurements: none listed on website
Requested measurement: 38 in (97 cm) chest
Tested size: XL
Listed weight: None listed on website
Weight as delivered: 5.5 oz (160 g)
Color tested: White
100 SPF / UPF 50+
MSRP: $35 US
This rash guard shirt is called SunSkinz by the manufacturer and is
made out of a four way stretch, tightly woven fabric. They state that
it is comfortable to wear, dries quickly and stands up well to
chlorine and salt water with sun protection that does not wash off.
With a SPF rating of 100 and UPF rating of 50+ it should provide a
maximum amount of sun protection while wearing it.
SPF is the ratio of time required to produce minimal erythema
(redness) when a sunscreen product has been applied compared to the
time required to produce the same amount of erythema without the
sunscreen. This means, if skin reddening takes 20 minutes with a
person who is using no protection, theoretically, the use of a
sunscreen with an SPF of 15 would prevent reddening 15 times longer
(about 5 hours).
UPF: UPF defines the amount of Ultraviolet light (UVL) that
penetrates a fabric. UPF is a ranking of fabrics according to how
much UVL penetration occurs based on standardized criteria. For
example, a UPF rating of 30 would indicate that 1/30 of the UVL
hitting the fabric actually penetrates it. Therefore, fabric with
tighter weaves and thicker fibers will have a higher UPF.
Pink Solid Body with Short Sleeves
The manufacturer sent me a women's white rashguard shirt with a green
flower on the chest. It is very attractive and nicer looking than
most hiking shirts I wear. Since they didn't have a size chart on
their website I gave them the measurements of 38 in (97 cm) chest size
so that it would not be too form fitting and they sent me a women's
XL. The material is 86% polyester and 14 % spandex. There is a
"ClassicSkinz" label sewn on the lower left side that appears to be
made from some sort of vinyl material and is a little bulky but
attractive. The shirt has flatlock seams that lay flat against my
skin. All of the seams look neatly sewn with just the exception of
one area under the left arm that has some excess material sticking out
(photo below). One of the removable tags that came on the shirt shows
a demonstration of its quick drying abilities even stating that it
will absorb sweat from the skin surface to the outer layer of the
fabric within one second. The other tag has "frequently asked
questions" about sun protection in relation to their clothing.
Rashguard shirt laid out Label on shirt Only seam flaw
The washing instructions say to hand wash in cold water with a mild
detergent and hang dry out of the sun. This will be a little
different for me as I'm used to putting everything in the washing
The sleeves are slightly snug (however I don't have thin arms) but
other than that, the shirt fits me well. The sleeves come down 7 in
(18 cm) from where my arm and shoulder joins. It feels very soft
against my skin and is lightweight. The neck comes up like a low
turtleneck but is very comfortable. The length is just right for
either allowing the shirt to be tucked in or worn outside. When
removing the shirt, it stretches well and comes off easily.
Rash Guard Shirt
TRYING IT OUT
I have been wearing it around the house along with a few errands
around town for a few days and it has been very comfortable.
The quality of the shirt looks excellent, fits well and does not bind
me in any way while wearing it around the house and out for a few
This concludes my Initial Report. The field report will follow at the
end of August. Please check back then for further information.
September 1, 2009
FIELD CONDITIONS AND LOCATIONS
Location: Peter's Canyon, Orange County California
Distance: 7 mi (11 km) day hike on trail (rolling terrain)
Elevation: 500 ft (150 m)
Weather: Cloudy to partly sunny skies, slight intermittent breeze, humid
Temperature: 65 F to 70 F (18 C to 21 C)
Location: Mt. San Antonio in the San Gabriel Mts in Southern California
Distance: 8 mi (13 km) day hike on trail (ascend then descend)
Elevation: 6200 ft. to 10000 ft (1900 m to 3050 m)
Weather: Windy conditions at 9000 ft (2750 m) and sunny clear skies
Temperature: Mid 50's F to mid 60's F (13 C to 18 C)
Location: San Bernardino Mts in Southern California
Distance: 3 day 2 night backpacking trip. Backpacking miles totaled
11 mi (18 km) and day hiking miles totaled 8 mi (13 km) with 2.5 mi (4
km) off trail on scree and loose rock.
Elevation: 6000 ft to 11500 ft (1800 m to 3500 m)
Weather: Partly cloudy skies with intermittent breezes and wind.
Temperature: 50's F to 80 F (13 C to 27 C)
Mt. Charleston (Las Vegas area)
Distance: 18 mi (29 km)
Elevation: 7700 ft to 12000 ft (2350 m to 3650 m)
Weather: Sunny and breezy
Temperatures: 50's F to 70's F (13 C to 24 C)
I would give this shirt a 4.5 out of 5 rating on comfort. I have
found consistently on all of the outings that the shirt is very
comfortable. I have not had any binding or chafing issues wearing a
daypack or backpack even on the trips that lasted all day. The shirt
moved with me and although I initially reported the arms as snug,
never even noticed them. The only time that the neck bothered me was
during the Peter's Canyon hike in the humid conditions. I found
myself wanting to unzip that area for extra air circulation. On the
backpacking trip I was able to take it off and on with great ease in
my solo tent due to the stretch factor of the material.
I would give this shirt a 2.5 out of 5 rating on its wicking ability.
This is where the shirt does not get the highest marks. The worst
conditions were at the Peter's Canyon location with the rolling
terrain and humid weather. The shirt became soaked in all areas
except the tops of my arms and sternum area. Those areas were damp.
The route was rolling terrain so there was never enough descent at one
time to give it a chance to dry. From the time I ended the hike until
it was dry was three hours. The shirt did better at the higher
elevations as the air is drier. It would become sweat soaked on the
uphill hiking but when there was breezier conditions, it would start
to dry but never completely. I used a fleece pullover over the shirt
at higher elevations when it would get windy but in all fairness, I
would do that no matter what shirt I was wearing. On the backpacking
trip the shirt was always dry by the time I got to camp or shortly
after. I wore it all three days and I never had to hang it out to
dry. The shirt's wicking abilities were never an issue on the long
day hike to Mt. Charleston. It did become damp when hiking uphill but
never noticed the dampness becoming an issue. I did use a light
pullover on windy ridges but, once again, would have used one no
matter what shirt I was wearing. The only comment that I can make
regarding the manufacturer's claim that the shirt wicks sweat away
from the skin in one second is, although that may be true, it does not
evaporate from the shirt material quickly making it less than
efficient. My skin under the shirt was also damp to wet when the
shirt had those same qualities.
I would give the shirt a 4 out of 5 rating for temperature control.
The shirt surprised me given the amount of dampness it can retain.
Other than the windier conditions at high altitude requiring an
additional fleece, at no time did I ever feel chilled or too hot
wearing the shirt. It did feel a little stifling on the Peter's
Canyon hike with the higher humidity but that is the only negative I
can report in this category. I think the denser material that the
manufacturer uses helps keep out some of the wind chill factor.
I have worn the shirt a total of 16 days so far and the durability
issues I have found so far are some light wear in the areas that the
pack comes into contact with the shirt and two snags (unknown cause,
possibly bushwhacking). The snags are small and are not resulting in
any runs. and the light wear is surface only. Photo below shows the
slight wear at the end of the pencil point.
Light wear at pack
The washing instructions say to hand wash and hang to dry. I have
found that no matter how much I scrub the shirt in the sink, not all
of the dirt, that tends to accumulate in the abdomen area from dusty
trails, will come clean. I have resorted to using the washing machine
to wash only and then hang dry. The washing machine does a little
better but the white material still shows some dirt. The shirt is
still holding its shape and fits the way it did when I first put it
on. I have not notice any severe odor after a hard day out on the
trail. It did start to smell a little the morning of the day 3 on the
backpacking trip but it was not too bad. I did not notice anyone
avoiding me that morning but then again, they probably smelled as bad
as me. The flatlock seams are starting to yellow slightly but not very
All that I can report here is that my skin does not appear to have any
sunburn or redness under the areas that the shirt covers.
With my backpack on
Peak photo on backpacking trip's day hike
FIELD TEST LIKES
Good temperature control
FIELD TEST DISLIKES
Vinyl label can chafe under a hipbelt
Does not dry quickly
This concludes my field report. I will continue to wear the shirt on
my day hikes and backpacking trips through October and will report
back in November as to how the shirt is holding up.
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